Howard Dean: Palin could beat Obama

Rick Moran
Hard to tell if Dean is playing a rope-a-dope strategy - trying to convince Republicans to nominate what he considers a weak candidate - or whether it's his genuine political assessment.

The Hill:

Howard Dean, the former Democratic National Committee chairman who helped Democrats capture the White House in 2008, warns that Sarah Palin could defeat President Obama in 2012.

Dean says his fellow Democrats should beware of inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom that Obama would crush Palin in a general-election contest next year."I think she could win,"

Dean told The Hill in an interview Friday. "She wouldn't be my first choice if I were a Republican but I think she could win."

Dean warns the sluggish economy could have more of a political impact than many Washington strategists and pundits assume.

"Any time you have a contest - particularly when unemployment is as high as it is - nobody gets a walkover," Dean said. "Whoever the Republicans nominate, including people like Sarah Palin, whom the inside-the-Beltway crowd dismisses - my view is if you get the nomination of a major party, you can win the presidency, I don't care what people write about you inside the Beltway," Dean said.

Dean was taking an indirect slap at pundits like Charles Krauthammer who dismiss a Palin candidacy out of hand.

He's right in a general sense. When the entire political apparatus of a major party is behind a candidate, anything can happen. Whoever the GOP nominee will be, they will benefit from a nationwide network of activists, fundraisers, and political professionals who know how to win.

The question facing the GOP is not whether Sarah Palin or any other candidate could beat Obama. The question is who has the best chance of doing so.

And that's what the primaries and caucuses are going to determine.




Hard to tell if Dean is playing a rope-a-dope strategy - trying to convince Republicans to nominate what he considers a weak candidate - or whether it's his genuine political assessment.

The Hill:

Howard Dean, the former Democratic National Committee chairman who helped Democrats capture the White House in 2008, warns that Sarah Palin could defeat President Obama in 2012.

Dean says his fellow Democrats should beware of inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom that Obama would crush Palin in a general-election contest next year."I think she could win,"

Dean told The Hill in an interview Friday. "She wouldn't be my first choice if I were a Republican but I think she could win."

Dean warns the sluggish economy could have more of a political impact than many Washington strategists and pundits assume.

"Any time you have a contest - particularly when unemployment is as high as it is - nobody gets a walkover," Dean said. "Whoever the Republicans nominate, including people like Sarah Palin, whom the inside-the-Beltway crowd dismisses - my view is if you get the nomination of a major party, you can win the presidency, I don't care what people write about you inside the Beltway," Dean said.

Dean was taking an indirect slap at pundits like Charles Krauthammer who dismiss a Palin candidacy out of hand.

He's right in a general sense. When the entire political apparatus of a major party is behind a candidate, anything can happen. Whoever the GOP nominee will be, they will benefit from a nationwide network of activists, fundraisers, and political professionals who know how to win.

The question facing the GOP is not whether Sarah Palin or any other candidate could beat Obama. The question is who has the best chance of doing so.

And that's what the primaries and caucuses are going to determine.